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Author Topic: Congress to spend $50 million on new national park in U.S. Virgin Islands  (Read 3858 times)

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Offline fish

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 Tracking Your Taxes: Park Pork?February 9, 2010 - 12:05 PM | by: William La Jeunesse If you are hoping to visit the newest crown jewel in America's park system chosen by Congress, throw away the car keys and open up your wallet. The 2,900 pristine acres of beachfront property were not cheap -- or even in the United States.

The property soliciting accusations of "pork" from critics is the Castle Nugent National Historic Park. It's in the U.S. Virgin Islands, about a thousand miles from Miami and an expensive jet ride to get there.
Two weeks ago, on a near party line vote, a huge Democratic majority in the House agreed to spend $50 million to buy the former cotton plantation on the island of St. Croix.
"This is a beautiful and important natural and cultural resource that is in danger of being lost forever," Virgin Island delegate, Donna Christiansen, told House colleagues in January.
"The site to be designated as the Castle Nugent National Historic Park continues to be heralded as one of the last pristine areas in the region."
The mixture of dry forest and rangeland offers picturesque views of the Caribbean Sea, but good luck getting there. Critics in Congress say the purchase is wasteful and irresponsible, especially with unemployment at 10 percent and the nation in debt.

"Now is not the time to spend up to $50 million dollars of the taxpayers’ money to buy nearly 3,000 acres of beachfront property on a Caribbean Island," said Rep. Doc Hastings, (R-Wash.), ranking Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee. "We can't afford a price tag for a new park in St Croix, just as many Americans will never be able to afford a visit there."
Democrats approved the purchase, even though the National Park Service has yet to complete a study on the purchase.
"We don't have the money to do this," said Rep Jason Chaffetz, (R - Utah). "Currently the National Park Service has an estimated $9 billion in backlog maintenance on existing parks. Why should the people of Iowa, Rhode Island or California or Utah have to continue to pay and supplement the people there on St Croix for this property?"
But a majority on St. Croix, where the economy depends on tourism, support the purchase.
"It allows us to maintain the natural beauty of St. Croix and also at the same time it allows for the historic nature of the property," Virgin Islands Governor, John de Jongh Jr., told Fox News.
The land is currently used as a cattle ranch. It includes an estate house and two row houses where the owners kept slaves that worked on the plantation. Most of the land is owned by the Gasperi family, who bought the land in the 1950's and approached the U.S. Government about four years ago about buying it.
"It's beautiful, it's lush, it's green," Mauro Gasperi said. "It contains a beautiful reef in front that we want to maintain as clean and as pristine as when we first bought it."
The Gasperi family maintains it wants to sell the land to the U.S. government in order to protect it from developers. Critics in Congress say there is nothing stopping them from doing that. They don't have to sell, or the family could impose a conservation easement on the land, preventing development forever.
"Sometimes you have to say, enough is enough," Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah told the House in January. "We heard it is (the Gasperi's) desire that this land not be developed, but preserved in its current condition. It seems to me they are in the perfect position to accomplish that goal as landowners."
The Senate is now expected to take up a similar bill.
Here's the final passage roll call vote on H.R. 3726:
 
http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/02/09/tracking-your-taxes-park-pork/

Offline cowboy

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Re: Congress to spend $50 million on new national park in U.S. Virgin Islands
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2010, 03:41:05 AM »
Chalk up another one for the spending democrates and Ike skelton.  I can not wait to see his press release on this one

Offline Geezer Glide Taz

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Re: Congress to spend $50 million on new national park in U.S. Virgin Islands
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2010, 02:14:52 PM »
I saw this yeasterday and have not had a chance to research it, but did we not just recently release several parks personnel nation wide, and shut down some parks because the parks system was broke, and yet we can spend 50 million for a park outside the us, where very few americans will ever see?
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Offline cowboy

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Re: Congress to spend $50 million on new national park in U.S. Virgin Islands
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2010, 04:13:00 PM »
Yes This was not only behind closed doors it was off shore. 

Offline CriTTer

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Re: Congress to spend $50 million on new national park in U.S. Virgin Islands
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2010, 03:10:45 AM »
Tracking Your Taxes: Park Pork?February 9, 2010 - 12:05 PM | by: William La Jeunesse If you are hoping to visit the newest crown jewel in America's park system chosen by Congress, throw away the car keys and open up your wallet. The 2,900 pristine acres of beachfront property were not cheap -- or even in the United States.

The property soliciting accusations of "pork" from critics is the Castle Nugent National Historic Park. It's in the U.S. Virgin Islands, about a thousand miles from Miami and an expensive jet ride to get there.
Two weeks ago, on a near party line vote, a huge Democratic majority in the House agreed to spend $50 million to buy the former cotton plantation on the island of St. Croix.
"This is a beautiful and important natural and cultural resource that is in danger of being lost forever," Virgin Island delegate, Donna Christiansen, told House colleagues in January.
"The site to be designated as the Castle Nugent National Historic Park continues to be heralded as one of the last pristine areas in the region."
The mixture of dry forest and rangeland offers picturesque views of the Caribbean Sea, but good luck getting there. Critics in Congress say the purchase is wasteful and irresponsible, especially with unemployment at 10 percent and the nation in debt.

"Now is not the time to spend up to $50 million dollars of the taxpayers’ money to buy nearly 3,000 acres of beachfront property on a Caribbean Island," said Rep. Doc Hastings, (R-Wash.), ranking Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee. "We can't afford a price tag for a new park in St Croix, just as many Americans will never be able to afford a visit there."
Democrats approved the purchase, even though the National Park Service has yet to complete a study on the purchase.
"We don't have the money to do this," said Rep Jason Chaffetz, (R - Utah). "Currently the National Park Service has an estimated $9 billion in backlog maintenance on existing parks. Why should the people of Iowa, Rhode Island or California or Utah have to continue to pay and supplement the people there on St Croix for this property?"
But a majority on St. Croix, where the economy depends on tourism, support the purchase.
"It allows us to maintain the natural beauty of St. Croix and also at the same time it allows for the historic nature of the property," Virgin Islands Governor, John de Jongh Jr., told Fox News.
The land is currently used as a cattle ranch. It includes an estate house and two row houses where the owners kept slaves that worked on the plantation. Most of the land is owned by the Gasperi family, who bought the land in the 1950's and approached the U.S. Government about four years ago about buying it.
"It's beautiful, it's lush, it's green," Mauro Gasperi said. "It contains a beautiful reef in front that we want to maintain as clean and as pristine as when we first bought it."
The Gasperi family maintains it wants to sell the land to the U.S. government in order to protect it from developers. Critics in Congress say there is nothing stopping them from doing that. They don't have to sell, or the family could impose a conservation easement on the land, preventing development forever.
"Sometimes you have to say, enough is enough," Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah told the House in January. "We heard it is (the Gasperi's) desire that this land not be developed, but preserved in its current condition. It seems to me they are in the perfect position to accomplish that goal as landowners."
The Senate is now expected to take up a similar bill.
Here's the final passage roll call vote on H.R. 3726:
 
http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/02/09/tracking-your-taxes-park-pork/
   Good thing they arn't heading to the hawaiin islands parks....that would take em all day to get there  :wee_fly:

Offline shadylane

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Re: Congress to spend $50 million on new national park in U.S. Virgin Islands
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2010, 11:19:05 AM »
Yes This was not only behind closed doors it was off shore. 

Sounds like the no-bid contracts that gw handed out to haliburton by the billions. Didn't hear any neo-cons squalling then.
"The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?"

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Re: Congress to spend $50 million on new national park in U.S. Virgin Islands
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2010, 02:01:17 PM »
soon our cash will bounce.
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Offline fish

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Re: Congress to spend $50 million on new national park in U.S. Virgin Islands
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2010, 06:25:32 PM »
not even related shady. but if you support the dems spending 50 milion on land that isn't ours during tough economic times right here, go ahead.

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Re: Congress to spend $50 million on new national park in U.S. Virgin Islands
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2010, 11:18:20 PM »
United States Virgin Islands, I think the names says it all. But then some one was saying, people from Hawaii aren't a citizen on an earlier post....
"The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?"

Offline cowboy

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Re: Congress to spend $50 million on new national park in U.S. Virgin Islands
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2010, 11:31:44 PM »
I missed it when did they put the 51st star on the flag?

Offline shadylane

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Re: Congress to spend $50 million on new national park in U.S. Virgin Islands
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2010, 11:52:22 PM »
U.S. citizenship was granted to the inhabitants of the islands in 1927.
"The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?"

Offline igahmah at work

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Re: Congress to spend $50 million on new national park in U.S. Virgin Islands
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2010, 12:08:41 AM »
Do those citizens pay taxes to the US?  Just wondering.
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Offline shadylane

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Re: Congress to spend $50 million on new national park in U.S. Virgin Islands
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2010, 12:20:23 AM »
Do those citizens pay taxes to the US?  Just wondering.

I honestly havn't checked that out yet. But I will....
"The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?"

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Re: Congress to spend $50 million on new national park in U.S. Virgin Islands
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2010, 12:20:43 AM »
http://www.vimovingcenter.com/island_living/taxes.php

they cannot vote in presidential elections and do not have congressional representation either.
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Offline shadylane

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Re: Congress to spend $50 million on new national park in U.S. Virgin Islands
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2010, 12:49:04 AM »
http://www.vimovingcenter.com/island_living/taxes.php

they cannot vote in presidential elections and do not have congressional representation either.

Thank you "no username" I was searching for information but was having a hard time. Most of what I found was blogs about offshore corporate tax havens....
Sounds like a good place for me to hide for the next couple of decades.....
"The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?"

Offline fish

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Re: Congress to spend $50 million on new national park in U.S. Virgin Islands
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2010, 03:31:20 AM »
still doesn't explain the 50 million being spent there.

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Re: Congress to spend $50 million on new national park in U.S. Virgin Islands
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2010, 06:02:32 AM »
http://www.vimovingcenter.com/island_living/taxes.php

they cannot vote in presidential elections and do not have congressional representation either.

 
They do have congressional representation, and they get to vote in the presidential primaries.
 
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Offline shadylane

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Re: Congress to spend $50 million on new national park in U.S. Virgin Islands
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2010, 12:31:28 AM »
Only in the primaries?
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Offline littlejohn

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Re: Congress to spend $50 million on new national park in U.S. Virgin Islands
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2010, 04:45:04 PM »
$50,000,000 is a BIG hunk of change to be spending outside the continental US. But I can think of some other items that are costing the taxpayer a few "coins".
How about, $12,000,000,000 (Billion) annual spending in Iraq (not counting Afganistan) in 2008 -- not quite sure how much total in 2009 but as of October 2009 it was $7,300,000,000.
If my math is correct that means this "absurd" purchase of a piece of the Virgin Islands would cost the same as 36.5 hours of involvement in Iraq.
I think quite a few of us like to "bitch" about things that are actually petty in comparison to the other expenditures that we have in the meantime taken for granted. Ever stop to think just how many beers you could buy for $12,000,000,000 ?
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Re: Congress to spend $50 million on new national park in U.S. Virgin Islands
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2010, 06:02:49 PM »
That's kinda like telling me if I'm willing to spend $100 at walmart why would I worry about saving $50 somewhere else. 
Two different things.  Save where you can.
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Offline shadylane

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Re: Congress to spend $50 million on new national park in U.S. Virgin Islands
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2010, 01:28:45 AM »
It's kind of like justifying spending $240,000 in a forein country like Iraq VS spending $1 in the United States Virgin Islands. And trying to use this for political gain..... It could make you look kinda stupid when put in perspective.
"The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?"